Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Review: The Unheeded Christ

David Cook begins his book by citing another book, The 100. That book surveyed the 100 most influential people from world history, a ranking in which the Lord Jesus came third. Why not first? Because the author thinks that even among Christians, Jesus doesn't have sufficient influence, due to many of his teaching being disregarded. For Cook, Principal of Syndey Missionary and Bible College, Jesus is the Unheeded Christ - heard, but not heeded.

Originating in Principal's Hour sermons from the college, the book's transcriptions really capture Cook's lively personality as he teaches from the Bible. The sermons are a series from the Gospel according to Matthew, taking some ethical teachings which are unheeded, some parables and miracles which are unheeded, as well as the teaching on punishment, hell, and Jesus' return. I've previously heard David teach at a Proclamation Trust Student Ministers' Conference five years ago (during 7/7 in London), and he is a great teacher and communicator.

Taking each Bible passage, he helpfully puts it in its immediate context, as well as discussing the issues arising through the rest of the Scriptures. His stories and illustrations are well-chosen, and really do assist the message, pressing the urgency of the claims of Christ for Christians to obey. The 13 chapters were quickly consumed, but the putting of this teaching into practice will be a longer-term effort. Indeed, this may be a chapter-per-week type of book to work through the issues being raised and applying them to your life.

I would heartily recommend this book, with the sure confidence that having read it, Jesus will no longer be the Unheeded Christ.

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